As months turn into years, I realize that I’ve had the
opportunity to learn a lot – especially through making many mistakes over time.
Seeing others make mistakes and learning from those is also a gift – if only we
could learn just from others’ mistakes – seems that the lessons are driven home
more when it is US in the middle of a pickle of some type.
It reminds me of something I learned through athletics
and business – if you surround yourself with people smarter and more talented
than you, it takes nothing away from you, and adds to the value you
offer the world. It makes you better.
Recently I had the opportunity to auctioneer in front of
a 2,000+ audience, which I had also done the previous year. (for those of you
who don’t know, I do fundraising auctioneering as a way to give back to the
many non-profits I’m involved with.)
It went just fine last year – on my own, I helped raise 42% more
than what they did without a professional auctioneer the prior year. But there
was something about the audience – my intuition “saw” that there was
so much more money in that room. I lobbied the organizers (and followed up throughout the year) to have more than one
live item this year, and was convinced that we could raise LOTS more than the $40,000 raised
I knew that to be most successful, I could bring in a
“secret” weapon – my girlfriend and “mentor” in
auctioneering – one of the people I’ve learned the most from as I’ve grown as
an auctioneer. We’ve had a fantastic relationship as strategic partners – I’ve
had the opportunity to mentor her in sales and in helping grow her business to
a worldwide audience rather than just a local, competitive one. We have both gained.
So imagine inviting someone more talented than you, and
more successful than you have been to this point, and teaming up with them?
This is a business situation that many biz owners might turn away from. I knew
that April Brown, 16-year professional, would knock everyone’s socks off – and
in fact she did. Our last live auction item, which I thought we’d do together,
was auctioned off by her. That one item raised $100,000 and between the two of
us and the organization’s founders, we raised over $186.000 in just twenty five
It felt AWESOME. Afterwards, we realized what a special
half hour that was – how many women’s’ and children’s’ organizations this would
impact – – and got feedback from conference attendees over the next few days.
You can see some video of April Brown in action – so far I haven’t seen video
of the rest of the auction – but will be sure to post once it comes in. Can you see why I wanted April to be a part of this?
Bottom line? Don’t sacrifice the good of the cause in
order to standout on your own. Recruit others – more talented and knowledgeable
– you will STILL shine – I’ll forever know what a great idea this turned out to
be, simply because I chose to expand my horizons and stretch and be part of